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NCC’s planned internet industry code may clash with NITDA’s new regulations

Confusion powered by what can be seen as lack of inter-agency synergy may play out before the end of 2019 when the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will roll out its styled Internet Industry code of practice.
Though NCC claimed that the key objective is to sanitise the cyberspace against fraud for telecom consumers, analysts are apprehensive how the code will work side-by-side with the new public internet and allied regulation recently unveiled by another related agency of the government in charge of Information Technology, the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Business Hilights recalls that the Director general of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, had while unveiling five new guidelines to further strengthen the country’s IT sector in Abuja, announced that efforts of his agency have is targeting safety of consumers especially in public internet access platforms (WiFi) across the country.
“On assumption of office, we realized that the agency did not have any instrument that stipulates a clear process for rule making for issuance of frameworks, standards and guidelines.
“This effort is to ensure that a defined, best practice approach to rule making is utilized by NITDA to develop sound instruments for regulation of IT.
“We also anticipate that the public will now understand all the processes involved in issuance of regulatory documents by the agency. This policy also creates platforms for public engagement in the issuance of regulatory documents by the agency.”
“From this point henceforth, NITDA will be generally bound by the rulemaking process as an integral part of the operations of the agency,” the DG averred.
However, explaining issues during an enlightenment against cybercrime campaign in Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger State at a programme entitled: ‘‘Mitigating Effects of Cybercrimes: The Role of Telecom Consumers”, the NCC enlightened the consumers on the threats of cybercrime, it various forms and measures required of to be protected from cybercriminals and hackers.
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, said as broadband penetration gets deeper for the promotion of positive engagements and efficient economic activities, the tendency for some Internet users to use such access for criminal and illegal activities is also on the rise, thereby requiring adequate consumer education.
Represented by the Head, Government & Legislative Unit of Public Affairs Department, Alh. Bashir Idris, she said, “It is a common knowledge that the use of Internet has become part of telecom consumer’s daily activities whether at home, in the workplace or any social settings.”